A major aim of this blog is to highlight ways that average citizens can get involved in the emergency preparedness and response activities of their community and their nation. One of these useful and fulfilling opportunities is America’s Waterway Watch, a combined effort of the Coast Guard and its Reserve and Auxiliary components, which enlists the participation of those who live, work or play around America’s waterfront areas. According to the Waterway Watch website.
If you are a tow boat operator, a recreational boater, a fisherman, a marina operator, or otherwise live, work or engage in recreational activities around America’s waterways, the United States Coast Guard wants your help in keeping these areas safe and secure. You can do this by participating in its America’s Waterway Watch (AWW) program, a nationwide initiative similar to the well known and successful Neighborhood Watch program that asks community members to report suspicious activities to local law enforcement agencies.
As a person who spends much of your time on or near the water, you already know what is normal and what is not, and you are well suited to notice suspicious activities – activities possibly indicating threats to our nation’s homeland security. And as a participant in America’s Waterway Watch we urge you to adopt a heightened sense of sensitivity toward unusual events or individuals you may encounter in or around ports, docks, marinas, riversides, beaches, or waterfront communities.
You should always remember that people are not suspicious, behavior is. And if you observe suspicious behavior or activity, you should simply note the details and contact local law enforcement. You are not expected to approach or challenge anyone acting in a suspicious manner.
America’s Waterway Watch is a public outreach program, encouraging participants to simply report suspicious activity to the Coast Guard and/or other law enforcement agencies. Unlike some Neighborhood Watch programs, for example, you are not formally joining an organization — there are no meetings, membership cards or membership requirements — and you do not become an agent of the Coast Guard or any other law enforcement agency.
A U.S. Coast Guard YouTube video about the program is below:
America’s Waterway Watch Introductory Video
If you are interested in more information on Waterway Watch, go to its website here. If you would like to volunteer in your area, call your local Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla — contact info for the closest branch can be found at its site www.cgaux.org/units.html.